How It's NOT Suppose To BE
“How many fucking times have I told you not to ask for money!” He angrily shakes me.
I try to hold back my tears. “I’m sorry. I need to buy some groceries. Please, Trent.”
Slap! I feel the sharp pain in my cheek. “You just bought groceries three days ago! What do you really need the money for?” He yells at me.
“I swear it’s for groceries. I wanted to make lasagna for dinner, and we don’t have all the ingredients.” I can feel my cheek starting to swell a bit.
“Don't you fucking lie to me, Blaine!” He spits out.
“I’m not.” I cry out a little too loud though I instantly regret it.
“Did you just raise your voice to me?” His voice drops. I already know I am in for a world of pain. I don’t even bother to answer. I stand there and prepare to take my beating.
He pulls back his arm, and I feel his fist connect with my cheek. I stumble back but don’t fall. I know if I fall, I will get kicked, and my ribs are still recovering from the last time I fell.
“You are so useless! How could I be with someone like you!” He yells and grips my hair. He harshly yanks me to the bathroom and throws me in.
“Clean yourself up while I grab some cash for you. I expect dinner by six pm. I’ll be back.” He turns and walks out of the room. I don’t bother to close the door. I am not allowed to do so if he left it open.
I look at my face, and I sigh. Why do I put up with this? I wish I could get away from him.
“Mommy? Are you ok?” I hear Elijah’s quiet voice ask from outside my bedroom door.
“Yes, I’m fine, baby. Get your shoes on. We are going to the store.” I quickly tell him, so he doesn’t break a rule and come into the room. Trent has never hurt Elijah, but he had punished me when he broke a ‘rule.’ I also don’t want him to see me with a bruised cheek. I try to shield him as much as possible, but he is a perceptive child. I quickly grab some of my concealers and gently dab it on my bruised cheek and wince. At least it wasn’t my eye. Those bruises are a little more difficult to cover up.
As I am putting on my shoes, Trent walks into the room. “Here. This is all that I am giving you for the rest of the week. So you better make it last.” He throws the money at me like I’m a fucking stripper and walks out.
I grab the money, and I count it. It’s one hundred dollars. My eyes widen. This is the most he has given me at one time. Usually, it’s a twenty-dollar bill, or he goes with me to the store when I need to spend more, but he hasn’t done that for a while. Or he gives me a special debit card so he can track my purchases. The debit card is one of those kid accounts where he can control everything on it.
I look out of the front window to make sure that his car is gone, and I go to my hiding spot that I have for cash. I take out twenty dollars and put the rest away. I have been secretly saving money for the past three years. Every time he gives me cash, I spend as little as possible and hide the rest. He never asks for the receipt when it's cash. When I have to use the debit card, I ask for ten or twenty dollars cash back when I pay. I also had secretly done small work for neighbors and babysat during the day, some evenings and weekends when Trent was out of town. Day by day, I have saved money. I am saving it so we can finally escape this hell hole.
“Mommy, I’m ready.” Elijah is standing by the front door, ready to go. I grab my purse and open the door and make sure I have my house keys. I would get severely punished if I got locked out.
“Let’s go.” I grab his hand, and we start to walk to the store. I am not allowed to drive the cars because Trent is afraid I’ll leave again. After the first time he hit me, I left in his car. I was gone for two days before he found me, which wasn’t hard because I was at my brother’s house. He hit my face a few times but held back because I was pregnant with Elijah. He told me that I was lucky to be pregnant, or else he would have put me in the hospital. After that incident, he started to get even more controlling. I couldn’t leave without his permission. I wasn’t allowed to drive the cars. I wasn’t allowed to talk to any of my family if he wasn’t there, and I wasn’t allowed to have any friends. He only started to trust me after Elijah turned three and realized that I wasn’t ever going to leave again. He thinks I am completely dependent on him. He thinks my family abandoned me, and I want him to think that. My parents know I can’t talk to them anymore, but they don’t know all the details, but my twin brother Benjamin knows everything. I talk to him a lot without Trent knowing. He bought me a small, easy-to-hide prepaid phone so we can talk, and he can make sure that Elijah and I are ok.
“Come on, mommy.” Elijah pulls me and snaps me out of my thoughts. Luckily the store is only a five-minute walk from his house.
“What we gettin mommy?”
“We are getting noodles for the lasagna I am going to make and also milk,” I tell Elijah. He starts to head to the dairy aisle when someone touches my arm. I quickly yank it away and look at who touched me.
“Excuse me? Are you Trent’s wife?” A young brunette girl asks me.
“Who are you?” I don’t bother answering her question. It’s a small town, so everyone knows who I am and that we are married.
She smirks. “You should just give him a divorce so we can be together.”
My eyes widen slightly, and I look over at Elijah, but he isn’t paying attention to us because he is looking at some chocolate bar.
“Don’t do this in front of my son.” I grit out. I already know he is having an affair. Several affairs, actually, but I can’t do anything about them. I got punished when I first found out because I confronted him about it. After he beat the hell out of me, I stopped caring because he was no longer forcing me to have sex with him.
“It’s also sad that you are using his love for his son against him.” She shakes her head and tsks at me.
I almost laugh at loud. He doesn’t pay any attention to Elijah. I don’t even think he loves him. The most he does for him is buy him toys that he thinks he likes. I know he tells everyone else that he loves his son soooo much, but I can’t even remember a time he has told him he loves him. I don’t even bother answering her, and I turn and grab the chocolate Elijah is looking at and make my way through the store and grab what we need. I don’t want to give that wench another chance to talk to me.
We grab what we need and make our way to the house. I only used about ten dollars, so I’ll use the other ten if I need something else from the store this week. When we get to the house, I quickly make Elijah a snack and put on a movie for him to watch while I get started on dinner. I think back to what that woman said. He probably lied to her about wanting a divorce and is saying I won’t give him one. He likes to use me as an excuse not to commit to those women. He usually uses them for sex for a while and then moves on when he gets bored. Shit, I would sign those papers so fast, then I’d be out of the state before the ink dried. I chuckle to myself but also feel my eyes glisten just a bit. This isn’t how I expected my life. This isn’t how he promised our life would be.
I am snapped out of my thoughts when I hear the timer for the oven go off. I look over at Elijah to make sure he is okay and playing with his legos. I quickly take the lasagna out and glance at the clock. It’s five forty-five. He won’t be here for fifteen minutes. I’ll turn the oven on low to keep the food warm because he hates when the food is cold. I start to set the table and change my shirt because I got some sauce on it.
I come back into the kitchen, and I glance at the clock again, and it’s five til six. Perfect timing, I smile to myself. Just as I finish putting the food on our plates, I hear the front door open. Elijah is already sitting in his spot, and I am standing next to my chair. I have to wait for him to sit down before I can sit. I internally roll my eyes at that dumb-ass rule.
Trent takes his shoes off at the door and throws his keys on the end table and stomps over to the table, and sits down without a word. I panic a bit. Usually, he at least says something to me unless he is upset. I try to think back and remember if I did anything wrong today. No, I can’t think of anything.
“Sit the fuck down, Blaine.” Trent grits out. My eyes widen. I didn’t realize I was still standing while I was thinking.
“I’m sorry,” I say softly.
He scoffs. “Oh, you will be.”
I don’t say anything after that. I already know what’s coming. We eat dinner in silence. After we are all done eating, I clear the table, put the dishes in the dishwasher, and Trent heads to his office, where he will stay for the remainder of the night while I get Elijah ready for bed.
We do our nightly routine. I always put noise-canceling headphones on Elijah that Ben bought him if Trent decides to yell at me. I don’t want him to wake up and hear what is going on. I say goodnight and kiss Elijah and make my way to his room.
I start to get ready for bed when I hear Trent stomp into the room. He clears his throat, and I turn around so he can talk to me.
“Who the fuck do you think you are to talk to Shelby that way today?” He sneers at me.
I try not to roll my eyes at him before I answer. “I don’t know a Shelby.” I keep my voice quiet. I don't want to get hit again.
“The brunette you yelled at today at the grocery store, ring any bells?” He asks, and my eyes widen. I didn’t yell at that skank.
“I didn’t yell at her.” I try not to raise my voice when I defend myself.
“Yes, you fucking did! You are no one to be yelling at my girlfriend like that!″, He yells at me. Girlfriend? Well, that’s a first. If I weren’t scared shitless right now, I’d probably roll my eyes.
“Trent, I swear I didn’t yell at her,” I say calmly.
“You expect me to believe you over her?” He laughs bitterly. I would think he would believe his wife over his girlfriend but apparently not.
He stalks towards me and grabs my hair harshly. I feel my scalp burn, and I try not to cry out. It hurts more because he already grabbed it this morning. I pull away, and I accidentally hit his chin with my head. My face instantly pales when I see the shock on his face. It only lasts a moment and is quickly replaced with rage. I see his fist pull back, and I squeeze my eyes closed tightly. I feel all the pain in my face and fall, and then I feel the explosion of pain in my stomach and ribs. I cry out, and then I fade into darkness.